Menaggio is the small town that I now refer to as my home in Italy. When I first arrived at the Lake in July 2013, on a weeks’ holiday with my mother June, I had no idea that I would be so smitten. In fact, I returned to the lake in October 2013 with the intention of buying my own little piece of heaven – an apartment with a lake view – and then again that December. More about that long and interesting adventure later……. For now though, I wanted to share my thoughts on Menaggio and why it is such a great hub for visitors to Lake Como.
First of all, location, location, location! Menaggio is in a perfect geographic position to visit other parts of the lake by ferry or car. The view of the lake and surrounding mountains from just about any part of Menaggio is magical and often has me spellbound. Menaggio is also a short drive from Lugano in Switzerland via a tunnel through the mountains; a beautiful lakeside town that is certainly worth a visit.
Then we have to consider the atmosphere in the town. I have been there is all four seasons now and always find a warm welcome and plenty to do and see. The people are friendly and seem happy to have visitors. The cafes are buzzing and busy, yet relaxing too (they never rush to move you on like in some places). You are expected to take your time and enjoy “la dolce vita”.
If you find yourself in Menaggio, head for the Piazza Garibaldi, right in the centre of town. There you will find several cafes where you can sit and enjoy the view, people watch, or just wait for the next ferry to another exotic port of call.Cafe Del Pess and Caffè Centrale (part of the Hotel du Lac) are well-located and very popular for coffee, drinks and snacks. Both have friendly staff and Caffè Centrale also has high speed wifi. Cafe Del Pess is my favourite place to sit in the afternoons for gelato and coffee. Bliss! Also in the town centre you will also find a small, traffic-free, shopping street which is quite charming and has a lovely 16th Century church dedicated to San Stefano that is worth a visit.
I could go on forever about Menaggio, but I want to keep you in suspense ……..and have something to write about another day:)